Clean, Endless Fusion Power Now Only 15 Years Away. Maybe.

Fusion + robots: what could go wrong?Ken Filar/MIT

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Good news! Commercial fusion power has always been 30 years away no matter what year it is, but now some folks say it’s only 15 years away:

The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source.

….A newly available superconducting material — a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO — has allowed scientists to produce smaller, more powerful magnets. And this potentially reduces the amount of energy that needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction off the ground….The planned fusion experiment, called Sparc, is set to be far smaller — about 1/65th of the volume — than that of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, an international collaboration currently being constructed in France.

By 2040 or so, we’ll have robots doing all the work and clean, cheap fusion providing all the power we need. You just gotta believe.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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